Nov 14, 2014

Webinar QnA: The future of colocation

Ansley Kilgore

We recently discussed the future of colocation during a webinar with a panel of industry experts. Guests included Internap’s own Randy Ortiz, Philbert Shih from Structure Research, Mark Hurley from Schneider Electric and Sean Brady from Cushman & Wakefield.

We experienced one problem during this webinar – the panelists were so engaged in conversation that we ran out of time to answer questions from the audience!

Below is a question-and-answer session with Randy Ortiz, VP of data center design and engineering at Internap, to address some of your inquiries from the webinar.

Q: How do local utility companies support data center power requests?
A: The first step in a data center power request is to first understand how much power you will need when your data center is completely built out. For example, if a data center is designed for 10,000 square feet and the maximum IT design load calls for 120watts per square foot, then the ultimate design IT load will be 1.2MW and an additional 1.9MW using a 1.5 PUE to calculate the power needed for cooling. Add another 100kW for miscellaneous loads and you will need approximately 2.2MW of power for your data center. A much more detailed calculation and letter will be required by your engineer to submit to the utility. Once the utility receives and approves the power request for this capacity, the utility will work with your design team to provide the proper feeders, electrical equipment and transformers for your site.

Q: Is having multiple electrical substations an absolute requirement for a Tier 3 data center?
A: According to the Uptime Institute’s definition of a Tier 3 facility, multiple utility feeders are not required for a Tier 3 or a Tier 4 site. What’s most important is having the required number of generators to support your site as prescribed for each Tier level for utility backup.

Q: Is a designed Tier 3 data center okay, as opposed to an actual certified Tier 3 data center?
A: In my opinion, you can validate a Tier 3 facility by requesting drawings and a basis of design from the data center provider that can then be validated by any professional licensed engineer.

Q: What is your perspective on the emergence of colo providers offering “shared services”? Is this a pathway for more value-add colo services?
A: I like the idea of providing as many IT services as the customer needs to help them have a turnkey data center solution. Service providers will continue to help differentiate themselves and add more to their bottom line by offering services that customers demand. If there is a market for it, then colocation providers will offer it.

Colocation is only one piece of the puzzle. Smart organizations are planning ahead for cloud or managed hosting services that they may need in the future. These services are a good complement to colocation, and hybrid hosting capabilities can offer long-term cost savings.


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Ansley Kilgore

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